Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Bible, Theology and the Fathers

Robert Louis Wilken writes about how the Fathers (ECF) used the Bible while doing theology:

"Not only in sermons but also in theological works, in letters, and in spiritual writings the church fathers display an enviable verbal command of large sections of the Bible. In contrast to modern theological writings in which the Bible is cited in support of theological ideas, and hence usually relegated to the footnotes, in the early church the words of the Bible were the linguistic skeleton for the exposition of ideas. Even in the writings of the most philosophical of early Christian thinkers their thoughts are expressed in the language of the Bible, seldom above it. The liturgy provided a kind of grammar of Christian speech, a key to how the words of the Bible are to be used." (emphasis mine -- the GP)

Read the rest via Peter Leithart. (HT to BHT)

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